Among the many challenges facing real estate owners and operators today, perhaps the most relevant at the moment is how your building operations teams prepare to reopen properties, especially taking into account the complexity of higher density properties like office buildings and hotels. As shelter-in-place orders expire and building occupants start to return to work, many with some level of trepidation, it is important to fully understand the complex relationships between building systems and develop a plan to proceed through the reopening process in an effective manner.
Marx|Okubo recommends developing a set of building-specific, reopening protocols using the following phased approach:
Phase 1 - Preliminary Screening
Phase 2- Building Opening Recommendations
This phase includes the determination and implementation of specific recommendations that will need to be customized to individual buildings. There are four main categories that initial recommendations will fall into:
Phase 3 - System and Design Modifications
In conjunction with or as soon as practicable, building owners and operators should look at what interim or, likely permanent, operating, system or building and site modifications will be required to provide an ongoing safe environment for building occupants and visitors. There will be options specific to a property and could include items such as:
While some solutions are seemingly easy on the surface, many singular choices made as an accommodation may have a connected relationship to other building systems, fire/life safety implications or lease conflicts that will need to be considered. It is also anticipated that many new products may make their way into the market that will (or may) not meet the required specifications necessary to achieve the desired result. Additionally, new building operational and system changes will impact how building users react and adapt to the new environment; therefore, building operators’ clear and consistent communication will be required to assure a successful transition.
Marx|Okubo has always taken a holistic perspective in our building and construction evaluations and understands the challenges of prioritizing prudent solutions with limited budgets. We are here to help in any way we can, as we have worked directly for owners or as part of the management or development teams. We want to ensure, as you do, that when society re-enters the work force, the places where they perform are as safe as they can be.
If you have questions or would like to have more conversations about this topic and how Marx|Okubo may be able to assist you at a building or portfolio level, please reach out to email@example.com.
Be safe, and stay optimistic!